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Maddie Leclair is a sportswriter for the Post newspaper traveling with professional baseball’s Philadelphia Patriots.  Jake Miller has been sidelined after an injury but his return to the big league is headline news for sports fans. Keen to enhance her career, Maddie angles an interview with one of baseball’s hottest stars. But Jake likes to keep his private life and his professional career separate, so little is known about him outside of his accomplishments on the field. Team management frowns on unauthorized interviews, but how will Maddie get the scoop she needs? When Jake agrees to a private interview and an attraction develops between them, both know that if caught, Maddie might be pulled from the Patriots’ beat.

This is a fairly quick read and though there is nothing really new here, it is well-written. The narrative-to-dialogue ratio is a little too heavy in the opening chapter, slowing down the pace at the outset, but with two very likable leads and well-crafted, steamy love scenes Fastball is a solid read. There are no annoying, manufactured personality clashes between the protagonists, and this makes for a refreshing change. Sometimes having genuinely nice characters works, as it does here.

The baseball background provides enough detail to make the sports romance credible without overwhelming the romance reader who is not sports-oriented. Tightly written, Fastball is an enjoyable read for anyone who loves contemporary sports romances!

Jill MacKenzie